Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas!!

"Santa Consulting Globe"
by Norman Rockwell

The Saturday Evening Post Cover
December 4, 1926
courtesy of
Norman Rockwell Museum


Merry Christmas
to all who celebrate!!

Stay safe!


Tuesday, December 22, 2020


just waiting for a "taste test"
(File Photo)

It's time to bake a batch of Hermits!  That yummy bar cookie that has Molasses, Cinnamon, Ginger, Ground Cloves and Raisins as ingredients!  Hermits are baked in three rows in a cookie baking pan.  Especially in the winter months I see these cookies in grocery stores.  They usually do not have many or any Raisins.  Hermits with Raisins are just the best!

This bar cookie is easy to prepare!  They taste so good!  After they have baked and come out of the oven and cool a bit, each row is cut into diagonal pieces.  Usually after cutting them into the diagonal bars, there is a "taste test".  I mean, who can resist biting into a warm cookie with Molasses and Raisins?  I never can.

Bake a batch of Hermits to enjoy over the holidays!  Click here for the recipe!

These cookies also freeze well.  It's always a great surprise in January or February to look into our freezer and find a small package just waiting to be defrosted and enjoyed.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Best Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Best Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
(File Photo)

It's the time of year to find your cookie cutters and rolling pin!  Colored sugar sprinkles are needed, too!  Add unsalted  Butter and Sour Cream to your grocery list.  It's time to bake a batch of the Best Sour Cream Sugar Cookies!  I'm talking about cookies that are usually baked for special occasions.  It's not that they cannot be enjoyed at other times of the year, but they are so good that we always enjoy them at Christmas.

After taking a bite of this cookie, suddenly a hint of Nutmeg is recognized.  That spice gives these cookies a special flavor along with Sour Cream and unsalted Butter. 

***I always use (unsalted) Butter in this cookie batter.  If you use Margarine, the dough is difficult to roll out.***          
These cookies are made in 2 steps: 

    On Day 1 the dough is made, wrapped and refrigerated.

    On Day 2 it's time to use your rolling pin, cookie cutters and colored sprinkles.

The weekend is a great time to bake these, because we all know that when you roll out dough and you also use cookie cutters it takes a little more time than just dropping a spoonful of dough on a baking pan/ sheet.  But, it is a special occasion and these cookies are really good!  They are the best Sugar Cookie I've ever tasted!

Making the Cookies!
(File Photo)

After baking the cookies and they have cooled, I freeze them in Ziploc Freezer Bags.  Oh, that is not to say that there is not sampling going on.  Of course there has to be a taste test

The only time I can remember being limited on the amount of cookies used in the taste test was when I baked them for our younger son's and DIL's Welcome Bags for their wedding guests.  Four batches of hearts and bells were prepared and baked.  We needed 250 cookies.  They were packaged and frozen.  Two days before they were needed, they were defrosted and packaged to be included in their guests' Welcome Bags.

This year I have not been in a rush to bake them, because we will be celebrating a "Zoom" Christmas.  It has been challenging enough sending/ mailing gifts.  I'll wait on mailing special cookies to our family.  The cookies will be waiting in our freezer for a future time.  Did you notice the (File Photo)?  :)  However, this weekend I will be baking them! 

Plan on baking a batch, too!  Click here for the complete recipe and directions!  It is worth the click.  Best Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are so delicious!  Remember to add Sour Cream and unsalted Butter to your grocery list this week!  Colored sprinkles, too, if you do not have any in your pantry.



Saturday, November 28, 2020

Turkey a la King!

Turkey a la King
(File Photo)

It's like clockwork! The day after Thanksgiving we always enjoy slices of roasted Turkey, mashed potatoes, some stuffing and gravy along with Butternut Squash at dinnertime.  Then, the following day it's Turkey a la King!  Now, this is a very easy meal to prepare!  It is much like a Turkey Pot Pie, but without the pie crust or phyllo dough crust.  Small pieces of roasted Turkey in a creamy sauce along with mixed veggies!  It is served over slices of  toasted bread.  You cannot beat that for easy!  It is so tasty, too!

These days I usually double or triple the recipe and freeze the extra portions in labelled freezer containers for quick easy dinners in the future.  When defrosting, I add a small amount of milk and stir it in.

My Recipe is here (click).     

This is a great dinner! Just remember to place cranberry sauce on your dinner table, too!



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Have a Nice Thanksgiving!


Origami Turkeys
from a Thanksgiving Celebration a few years ago.
(File Photo)

My baking has been completed for Thanksgiving Day!  It's time to relax.  Yes!  Tomorrow my DH & I will enjoy staying in and dining on our Turkey dinner with all of the trimmings ourselves.  It's the time to stay home, stay safe, be thankful and also think of other people.

Wishing you a safe Thanksgiving Day and weekend!       

Sunday, November 22, 2020

~Cranberry Bread~

Cranberry Bread
(File Photo)

Cranberry Bread
is so delicious!!!  In grocery stores we can easily locate bags of fresh cranberries, now.  Those maroon colored berries that seem to roll all over the kitchen counter if you are not careful when tearing open their plastic bag.  Yes, I have had the experience of quickly giving a tug and many of the berries have bounced out and rolled moving very quickly.  Now, I am more careful and I cut the bag open with scissors.

I have been baking this Cranberry Bread for so many years.  One of my sons brought the recipe home from school.  That does seem like an unusual source, but he had the recipe and wanted us to bake it.  We did just that.  The Cranberry Bread was so yummy, it is the only Cranberry Bread I have baked since then.  It came from a children's book that his school librarian had read to his class.  Then, the book was out of print.  Well, the book was printed again and I now have a copy!   

To learn more of the story and get the recipe, click here.  

This bread does not freeze well, so I suggest you bake it a day or two in advance of when you will be planning to serve it.  When you bake it one day and then slice it the next day and serve it, the flavors blend so well.

We will be enjoying this Cranberry Bread over the Thanksgiving Day weekend!  Will you be baking one, too?



Monday, November 16, 2020

Butternut Squash Pancakes

Butternut Squash Pancakes
Before the Maple Syrup was drizzled on top!
(File Photo)

It's the time of year when I make a batch of Butternut Squash Pancakes for breakfast!  Enjoying these delicious pancakes that have Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger is a tradition, especially in Autumn.  While prepping the Butternut Squash for the freezer two days ago, I saved out 1 Cup to make these.  The next day we enjoyed Butternut Squash Pancakes for breakfast.  They are so light and are so yummy! 

After enjoying our breakfast, there were many left to freeze.  Did I mention that they freeze very well??  They do!!  It's always great to open the freezer door to find a Ziploc bag or two of frozen pancakes.  (I was quick to freeze them and did not take a current photo, but luckily I had one to use today.)

**When freezing pancakes after they cool, I place half of the pancakes individually in sandwich bags and half are not placed in the bags.  Then, I stack them- every other one is in a sandwich bag.  In this manner they do not stick together and it's easy to remove the needed amount later.  I also save on using too many of the sandwich bags.  The pancake stacks are then placed into Ziploc Freezer bags and into the freezer they go.  Easy breakfasts for other mornings!    

Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated soon and you will probably be enjoying Butternut Squash on your dinner table.  We will be!  Save out 1 Cup to prepare these delicious pancakes for breakfast.  A few years ago I posted my recipe on my blog.  It is a click away and well worth the click! 

Click here for the Recipe for Butternut Squash Pancakes!   

Place the extra pancakes in your freezer to enjoy on other mornings!  You will be so happy you did!




Friday, October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020!

October 30, 2020!!
No, it's snowing!
October 30, 2020!

It is pretty outside!  However, it is toooo early for snooow to bring a smile to my face.

Not Enjoying!


Monday, October 26, 2020

~Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins~

Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins
(File Photo)

It was quite surprising that this past weekend I baked my first Apple Crisp this Autumn.  Usually, when the local early McIntosh apples are available I purchase them and bake this family favorite dessert.  I guess we have had a few apples, but eating a sliced apple was just so tasty there were never enough left to bake with.  Well, this yummy apple dessert that has a crunchy oat topping is now in our fridge to enjoy again later tonight!  Did I mention that Craisins and raisins are hidden between the slices of baked apples?  They are!  They give this dessert a great taste!  A little scoop of ice cream is always added on top before serving.

I do not want to waste any time sharing my Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins recipe, so click here for the complete Directions!  It is definitely worth the extra click!

It is so good!



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

~Freezing Butternut Squash~

Bushel of Butternut Squash

A bushel of our fave vegetable is now sitting in our garage.  Well, a bushel of Butternut Squash minus the two that I already prepared.  A couple of weeks ago we stopped in at Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow, MA.  It's tradition that every year we purchase the bushel of squash (that is in a cardboard box).  It has a special place in our garage.  During the months of October and November this veggie is prepped for our freezer.

In past years I've written my Directions for prepping this delicious orange colored veggie for the freezer.

Click here for my Directions! 

Ready to pack for the freezer!
(File Photo)

The mashed veggie is portioned out and placed in freezer bags that are labelled and dated.  When desired, it's ready to defrost in the microwave.  Just remove a bag from the freezer and place in a covered vented microwave safe container and microwave.  I use my covered CorningWare for defrosting and serving.

No butter/ margarine nor sugar is needed at all.  This vegetable is so tasty!  That's why we always purchase a bushel locally and prepare it.  If you and your family also enjoy this vegetable, prep and freeze some portions! 



Saturday, October 17, 2020

~October ~

An earlier visit this month to Meadowbrook Farm.

The beautiful month of October is here!  Every day the colors of the leaves on the trees change a little bit more.  Some leaves have floated down from their branches. 

Autumn is a beautiful time of year.  Especially this year, it is really great to appreciate the scenery!  Our Rose Bush continues to add color to our garden!


Saturday, September 26, 2020

September Colors

Took a quick walk in our neighborhood this afternoon.  What a great surprise to see so many different colors just down the street! The reds, the oranges and the yellows mingled in with the greens all look beautiful.  Autumn is definitely here!



Saturday, September 19, 2020

~Saving Marigold Seeds~

Yellow Variegated Marigolds

Our Marigolds have been beautiful this summer!  Yellow, orange and yellow variegated flowers blossomed continuously.  The plants that produce the yellow variegated flowers were planted from seeds.  I had purchased the seeds in early 2020.  Now with mornings a bit chillier, I decided to save some of the seeds from this year's crop, so we could enjoy this variegated flower again next summer.

So, this past week I snipped off many of the bright blossoms.  They are now drying out in a cut down Kleenex box in our garage.  In a few weeks the colorful blossoms will dry out.  I will be able to separate the dried seeds from the dried stems. 

One end of a dried Marigold seed is slender and black.  The other end is tan.  See photo below:

Dried Marigold Seeds
Dried Marigold Seeds
(File Photo)

Then, the seeds will be saved in a paper envelope that will be labelled.

Next May we will have many of these saved seeds to plant after the danger of frost has passed in our area.  Marigold seeds are easy to grow and the blossoms are beautiful.

We will Enjoy again!


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Freezing Green Peppers

Green Peppers
(File Photo)

There have been so many great tasting local veggies available to purchase these days!  Not only in grocery stores where local produce is sold, but at roadside stands.  Slices of locally grown juicy fresh tomatoes hit the spot on our dinner table.  Another veggie that is available at this time of year is Green Peppers.  I like to add them to various main dishes when I'm cooking.  Usually at this time of year, I purchase the Peppers and prep them to place in our freezer, so I have them to use all winter.  Somehow, that did not work out for me last summer.  I missed opening our freezer door this past winter to take out a small bag to use. 

Not so this summer!  I have been getting to work!  There will be Pepper strips for Chili, for Pizza and for Chicken dinners.  I really do not want to purchase bags of frozen Pepper chunks in the grocery store this winter.  

 Green Peppers are easy to prep to freeze, too!

  1. Rinse Green Peppers under cool running water.
  2. Pat dry.
  3. Cut into slices or chunks, discarding the stems and seeds.
  4. Place a handful of slices or chunks of Green Peppers in sandwich bags, close.
  5. Then, place sandwich bags into Freezer Bags and seal.
  6. Label and freeze.
Ready for my Freezer!
(File Photo)

The photo I used is a File Photo from 2014, but you can see the results!  This year I will have the Green Peppers that are needed for a recipe in my freezer ready to defrost!




Sunday, September 6, 2020

Saving Zinnia Seeds!

The cooler mornings are here!  It's great that we are not in yet another heat wave.  The beautiful Zinnias and Marigolds have added so much color to our yard again this year.  Now, it's time for me to start snipping the colorful Zinnia blossoms to save and then dry out.  Attached to the flowers' petals are the seeds for next year's beautiful crop.  This weekend I started harvesting the colorful blossoms.  I snip them when there are not bees buzzing in the immediate area.  Some flowers are yellow and pink.  Others are white, beige and red.  What a colorful assortment!  It's great to choose what colors to have next year.

The snipped blossoms will dry out in cut down Kleenex boxes in our garage.  In a few weeks after the flowers are dried, I'll pull the "tear" shaped seeds from the dried petals and then save the seeds in a labeled envelope.

"Tear" Shaped Zinnia Seeds
(File Photo)
This has been a tradition of mine for, well, years.  I guess, decades.  While growing up my family had two large veggie gardens.  At the end of one of the gardens we planted three rows of Zinnias.  They were just gorgeous!  In autumn we always saved enough seeds to plant the following year for the following crop.

No longer do I take care of a veggie garden.  We purchase our supply at the local farm.  However, bring on the colorful flowers that brighten any day any week in the summer and in autumn!

I'm planning ahead for next year!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

~Summer Colors~

O.K., we are having another heat wave !  Today is Day 5 !  Being outside has not been very comfortable, but the flowers in our gardens do not seem to mind the readings on our thermometer.  Well, we are making sure they have water.  I'm sure that makes it a lot easier for them.

On Monday the very last Salmon Daylily blossomed!  It is unusual not to look out our window and see a large quantity of salmon colored blossoms every day.

The Zinnia, Vinca and Marigold seeds that we planted in the late Spring are also producing colorful flowers!!

We plant the Zinnia seeds saved from the previous year's crop.  This year we purchased some Marigold and Vinca seeds, because it was unclear if and when we would locate the plants to buy.  Later, bright yellow Marigold plants were also purchased, but there were no Vinca plants.  It's taken a while for these seeds to prosper, but the flowers are now popping out!

We are enjoying them!


Friday, July 24, 2020

Strawberry Simply Delicious

Strawberry Simply Delicious!
This is a perfect dessert on a hot day and it is hot today!  This dessert is refreshing and so good!  It's Simply Delicious!  There are only 3 ingredients needed:  a box of flavored gelatin, vanilla ice cream and water.  Oh, whipped cream on top is added, so I guess 4 ingredients are needed.

Strawberry Simply Delicious!
(File Photo)
The water is boiled, the gelatin is added and stirred in.  Then, the ice cream is stirred in, too.  Actually, I whisk it in, so everything is combined quickly.  Then, pour into dessert dishes or coffee mugs and refrigerate for a few hours.   Lime flavored or Strawberry flavored are our favorites.  Lemon or Raspberry flavors are delicious, too.  My gelatin of choice is JELL-O!  If I have strawberry ice cream in our freezer, I combine it with the strawberry gelatin.  I will be whipping up a batch this afternoon to enjoy tonight after dinner.  So good!!

Strawberry Simply Delicious 

(1) 3 ounce box Strawberry flavored gelatin
(1) Cup Water, boiled
(1) Cup Vanilla Ice Cream

***Whipped Cream to add on top, before serving

  1. Place flavored gelatin in mixing bowl.
  2. Add (1) Cup boiling hot Water.
  3. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. 
  4. Add (1) Cup Vanilla Ice Cream, stir or whisk until ice cream is dissolved.
  5. Pour into serving dishes.
  6. Refrigerate several hours.
  7. Add a dollop of whipped cream on top before serving.
A quick dessert to prepare and a refreshing dessert to enjoy on a hot day!


Saturday, July 4, 2020

July 4th!

Have a safe 
4th of July!!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020!

Salmon Daylily!
Today was the day!  It's July 1, 2020!  Every year in the early Spring I watch the leaves of the Salmon Daylilies pop up from the ground.  As the weeks go by the leaves become longer.  Then, stalks appear.  Each stalk grows in length and then has buds.  That's a sign that flowers will be on the way.  Soon they open. 

The beautiful sight began today when the first Salmon Daylily bud blossomed!!  It looks like 3 more flowers will appear tomorrow!


Friday, June 19, 2020

Tortellini Salad

Tortellini Salad
(File Photo)
Like so many of you, my friends, I've been cooking up a storm!  As you can see, I have not had a chance to blog lately.  So, taking a current photo of food is... well... a dream.  I had a little bit of Baking Powder left and this week like magic, I have it.  What a different "new norm"!  I realize you have been finding the same situations at any time during the week.  People are cooking and/ or learning to cook! 

Hopefully, if we all wear our masks and use precautions things will change again to a more comfortable norm. 

One day last week we enjoyed Tortellini Salad as a side dish at dinner.  There was a bag of frozen tri-colored tortellini waiting in the freezer.  Waiting for me to prepare it!  It's one of my favorite pasta salads in the warmer months.  There is something great about biting into a cheese filled Tortellini that's surrounded by Italian Dressing.  The seasonings from the dressing just coat each little Tortellini!  Did I mention it is easy to prepare?  It is!  Very easy!

Sometimes, I add black olives, whole or sliced to this pasta salad.  They are optional.    

Tortellini Salad  

(1) 12 ounce bag Frozen Cheese Tortellini- may be lesser quantity
Italian Salad Dressing
Parsley Flakes
Garlic Powder

  1. Prepare Tortellini following directions on bag. 
  2. Drain, rinse with cold water.  Drain again.
  3. Place in bowl.
  4. Add about 1/2 Cup Italian Salad Dressing, combine.
  5. Add desired amount of Parsley Flakes and Garlic Powder.
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  7. Before serving, stir.  Add a little more Italian Dressing if needed.
It is that easy!  If you don't have the tortellini in your freezer, remember this recipe to prepare another time in the coming months!


    Thursday, May 28, 2020

    May Colors!

    There is a rotation of color in our yard when the flowers start to blossom.  I've been waiting for the Peonies' buds to open and this morning some did.  Bright pink flowers!

    Overnight, the Iris buds appeared.  It was also a very welcome sight today!  Before I know it the lavender flowers will be visible.

    The Zinnia seeds planted last week are beginning to sprout.  It's always so cool to see.  The seeds we planted were saved from last year's colorful crop.

    Spring is here and beautiful colors are visible!